Tuesday, 17 October 2017 06:50

Valley Grange gives Kids the gift of words Featured

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GUILFORD - For 16 years, the Valley Grange has been giving the gift of words to third graders in the Guilford area. This year, they continue that tradition.

"There's 33,000 words in the dictionary. They're getting a dictionary with all of the words in it, that's power," said Walter Boomsma, the program director for Valley Grange. 


It's something you wouldn't normally see kids line up for.


"I never owned one and it's pretty cool to have one," said Dean Gallagher, a 3rd-grade student.


Yet they are and for the sake of learning something new.


"I like that we got our own dictionary and in our class," said Garrett Rogers, a 3rd-grade student. "I kind of want the longest word on our test."


Those at Valley Grange are working hard to provide third graders with a free dictionary, a tool to get kids hooked on reading.


"When I go home, I am going to look up dolphin because dolphins are my favorite animals and they are cute," said Payson Hall, a 3rd-grade student. 


The Grange has given out close to 3,000 dictionaries to schools all over the area.


"We're often guilty of underestimating kids," said Boomsma. "I'm always impressed when the kids participate."


When they weren't learning about the Civil War or about the history of the Grange, students raced to find words in their new dictionary.


"I'm still amazed how excited the kids get over it," said Boomsma. "You think with tablets, apps and games, they wouldn't."


For many kids, this is the first dictionary they've owned. Those at the Grange hope that it's the start of something even bigger.


"We believe in the kids, they are our future," said Boomsma. "We know third grade is a critical grade. We say at school that, they learn to read up to third grade and then after that, they read to learn."

Jack Hilton

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Jack Hilton joined WVII ABC 7 and WFVX Fox 22 in March of 2016. He was born in Montreal, Canada but was raised in the sunshine state, Fort Lauderdale before graduating cum laude from Husson University with a Bachelor’s deg...